Great Decor Ideas for Renters: Pinterest Inspiration~

You may recall that I have partnered with Apartment Guide to serve as an Official Apartment Guide Decor Blogger!  As an official blogger, I will be sharing articles and ideas for exploring your space, city and style.

I love Pinterest!!  It is one of my go-to places for inspiration.  And today I wanted to share some pins I've collected that offer some great ideas for renter decor...and what I mean by that is that these ideas are both easily implemented and easily reversed when a rental contract ends.  (Of course these ideas are fabulous for home owners as well.)


UPrinting Giveaway~

This post is sponsored by UPrinting.

Happy Sunday Everybody.

Today I have a great giveaway for you from UPrinting! 

It's that time of year when we start thinking about the perfect gift for Mom.  UPrinting might just be your answer.  They can make great canvas prints from your favorite photos...perfect for gift giving.  And definitely something that Mom will love.


Frugal Friday

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

The Fan Favorite from last week is this adorable FREE printable from Meeha Meeha.  I love the colors...so pretty! Hurry over and get your copy!

 And now on to my Frugal Round-up...

Wash Your Hands: A Free Printable~

You may recall the fun artwork that I used in the kiddos' bathroom redo

I have had tons of interest in the art so today I thought I'd do something fun for all of you, my dear readers!  I've already mentioned that I found the octopus image on The Graphics Fairy...here is the link to the original black and white image if you are interested. 

The Wash Your Hands image is one that I created specifically for this room.  So today, I thought it would be great to offer it to you as a FREE PRINTABLE!!  To download your own copy (8x10) simply click on the image below.


This printable is for personal/ non-commercial use only.


Board and Batten: Using DAP Caulk~

This is a sponsored post.

When we moved into this house, the kiddos' bathroom was just your plain, old builder's grade bathroom...and it was really boring!!  When I was coming up with the plan for the bathroom, I knew that I wanted to add some architectural interest to the space.  I love wainscotting, and I thought that a tall board and batten would be the perfect addition to the space.

The hubby was on-board from the start.  Which is good seeing as how he is the carpenter and all, and I was going to need his help to do this project. 

So we headed to Home Depot, and I gathered up all the supplies we were going to need.  Our list was actually pretty short.  Wood, paint, and caulk.  That was it.  I already had everything else we were going to use.  And the only disagreement the hubby and I had was the fact that I insisted the cap piece be 6" wide, and the hubby thought that would be too large.  Normally, I would probably agree with him, however, I needed it to be wide enough to accomodate the towel hooks. He reluctantly gave in, but once he saw the finished product including hooks, he finally agreed that I was right. ;-)

There is a "correct" carpenter's way of doing board and batten that involves insetting a wooden backing into the sheetrock.  We discussed doing it that way, but decided that given the room and our budget, it was not the best or most cost-effective way to do it.  So we opted for the easier DIY version of board and batten.  Now, there are about a million and one of these fabulous board and batten tutorials on the interwebs, so I'm not going to do a tutorial here.  And since the hubby is an expert with this stuff,  we didn't use one either.  We just figured out the measurements, and he went to town. 

I do want to talk a bit about the caulk, however. 

Here is the hubby cutting the wood for what was to become the board and batten.

After he attached the wood to the wall, he caulked it using DAP ALEX PLUS caulk. 

And after he added a bead of caulk at the seam where the wood meets the wall, he wet his finger under the faucet and used it to smooth the caulk. 

Once the caulk was dry (it has a fast drying time - about 2 hours) we were able to paint right over it.  And it looks fabulous!

According to the DAP company: DAP ALEX PLUS is America’s number one selling brand of caulk. It is a superior quality, all-purpose acrylic latex that can be used indoors and out. It is paintable with both latex and oil based paints, and has a waterproof seal. When used in common household painting projects, DAP ALEX PLUS seals around baseboards, trim and molding, filling gaps and providing a professional grade look to any project.

We chose to use the ALEX PLUS caulk primarily because it is waterproof -  and well, we were using it in a bathroom - and also because it is paintable.  If you are just using caulk between, say, tile and a countertop, the paintable part isn't that important.  But because we were using it to seal the wood to the wall, and we needed to be able to paint both the wood and the wall...the paintable quality was really important to us. 

We're so happy with how this project turned out!   The board and batten treatment simply makes the room!  If you missed it, you can check out the entire project here.

DAP partnered with bloggers such as me to promote their caulk and sealant products.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used. DAP believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. DAP’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.The winner of this giveaway will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.


Navy and White Bathroom: The Reveal~

Today I'm very excited to share the reveal of my kiddos' bathroom!

This is what it looked like before.  A sea of "blah".  Now I'm a fan of neutrals, but this bathroom was ridiculously dull.  And since it was the kiddos' bathroom, I wanted to give it both a dose of color and a bit of whimsy.

Here is the moodboard I created for the bathroom and shared with you a little while back.... 

And here is the bathroom after...

We added board and batten to the walls to give them texture and interest...painted the lower half Behr's Swiss Coffee and the top Martha Stewart's Azurite.

I added some fun art to the walls.  The top piece is a sign I created (free printable to come) and the bottom is a piece of vintage art I found from The Graphic's Fairy and tweaked to make it match the color scheme.

The fabulous shower curtain is from one of my great sponsors, Elisabeth Michael.  I purposely chose a longer size and hung it up close to the ceiling to give the room the illusion of being taller.


We removed the towel bar from the wall and added hooks to the top of the board and batten.  I added numbers above the hooks for a little touch of fun (just like I did in my boys' bedroom in our first house.)

Four hooks for four kiddos...

A perfect way for each kiddo to know which towel is his (or hers).

No more blah beige here! The new bathroom is so bright and happy.   I just love it!!  
And the kids love it too!


Have a great day~


Saturday Question of the Week on Sunday~

Hello all my lovelies!  Happy Sunday!

I spent the last three days at the amazing SNAP Conference.  It was fabulous to see some of  my blogging buddies that I already knew and to meet so many more of my on-line friends in real life.   We hugged and chatted and talked "blog".  I learned so much, and had so much fun!!  Even though I'm exhausted, I feel refreshed at the same time.  I'm energized and so excited to apply some of what I learned here at the old blog! (Don't worry, I promise to share photos later when I've had a chance to go through them.)

So my question for you today is:

How do you unwind or re-energize yourself when your "batteries" are low??



Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

The Fan Favorite from last week is this adorable dresser redo featuring burlap shelves from Liz Marie.  So beachy and fun!

And now for my Frugal Round-up!

Salvage Savvy shared a fabulous round-up of ideas to make with hollow-core doors.  Lots of great uses for those things!

I loved these rain gutter bookshelves shared by Clean & Scentsible.  Such a frugal and cute idea!

And finally, Domestic Imperfection shared her DIY farmhouse table.  Love.

Now it's your turn!!

You know "da rules"...

1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog.
2. Please link back the Shabby Nest (you can use the pretty new button on my side bar to make it easy.) I only feature projects in my Frugal Round-up that link back to The Shabby Nest. I have passed up some great features because they didn't link back..so please use common courtesy and return the link! MWAH!!
3. Please visit other participants and leave them comments! Help them feel "the love!" And don't forget to "like" your favorite posts so they can become the "FAN FAVORITE!"


An Interview with Andrew and Shannon Newsom from Wisteria~

One of my favorite decorating stores/catalogs  is Wisteria.  I have recommended many an item from Wisteria to my clients.  I love their eclectic mix of furniture and accessories, as well as their timeless yet chic approach to decorating.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I had the opportunity of meeting the owners of Wisteria while I was in New York City a few months ago.  Andrew and Shannon Newsom are the talented couple behind the catalog/shop, and I am so glad that they took the time to answer some questions for me.  Today I am very excited to share that interview with you, my dear readers!
Andrew and Shannon Newsom & Family (All images via Wisteria.com)

Shabby Nest:  For those who might not be familiar with the fabulousness that is Wisteria, please define your shop/catalog for us in a nutshell.

The Newsoms: We are a growing family business that strives to bring treasures from all over the world back home, making them available and accessible at great prices and with great service. Wisteria updates traditional design inspiration with wonderful accents of color and Rare Birds from around the globe.

Shabby Nest:  What was the inspiration behind starting Wisteria?

The Newsoms: The inspiration came from our families and our love of travel. We wanted to share the kinds of things we found on our travels with others, making great design available at great prices. Andrew's mother, Lisa Newsom, is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Veranda magazine and is an integral part of our design team. Shannon's mother, Jane Moore, is an interior designer and antique dealer in Houston, Texas. Both inspire us and support us at Wisteria.

Shabby Nest: Please give us a brief history of how Wisteria has developed/grown into what it is today?

The Newsoms: Wisteria started as Andrew's dream to travel and bring unique treasures from around the world back home to share with others. At first, we had a small operation out of our house/garage. Now, we are supported by a wonderful team of more than 120 people who we couldn't do without. Every single member of our team contributes to Wisteria's personality. 

Shabby Nest: How do you find the merchandise that you feature in Wisteria? 

The Newsoms: We travel the world over visiting bazaars and markets as well as shops and trade shows. We concentrate our buying in India and China. We look forward to working with more craftsman right here in the States, too.

Shabby Nest:  Can you tell us about "Rare Birds?" 

The Newsoms: Rare Birds is a collection of antiques, special finds, and one-of-a-kind treasures we have hand-selected on our trips. They are available online and in our store.

Shabby Nest:  What do you feel is a "must-have" item from Wisteria?

The Newsoms: I cannot pick one!! We have so many wonderful treasures. Our patina furniture is the bread and butter of our brand. Shannon loves the Sleek Dutch Chest of Drawers, the French Country Chest, and the Handpainted Sunburst Mirrors. Also, we think all of our coastal accessories are fantastic additions to any room. The Vintage Chinese Butcher's Table is a beautiful, high-quality antique crossover piece that adds a touch of ethnic to an otherwise traditional room. Finally, everyone must have a gift closet in his or her house. Fill it with some of Wisteria's ideas—Natural Linen Hand Towels, Simply Bee-autiful Hand-embroidered Towels, Bone Photo Frames, Washed in Beads Necklaces, and our Indian Tunics and Scarves (great for travel.)

Shabby Nest:  What is your personal design aesthetic?

The Newsoms: Shannon is drawn to Scandinavian designs—clean lines; minimal furniture, fabrics and accessories; natural light; neutral and light color palette; outdoor elements inside; texture and organic elements and contemporary art. Andrew brings a more eclectic flair, appreciating depth of color and eccentric collections from all over the world.

Shabby Nest:  How do you go about putting together a room? How do you start?

The Newsoms: A fun but long process! Shannon offers, "I take dimensions of a house/room (using floor plans when possible); create furniture layouts; determine size and scale of furniture, wall art and lighting; choose the color palette of the entire house so that each room flows together; make decisions about all surfaces, including floors, walls, ceilings (stone, wood, etc); Finally, start having fun with furniture, fabrics and accessories!!!” Another route is to pinpoint one anchor piece and then build a room around that piece in terms of scale, color, and so forth.

Shabby Nest:  Fill in the blank: Every room needs  ________________________.

The Newsoms: Pops of color and layers of lighting!

Shabby Nest:  What's next for Wisteria?

The Newsoms: Flea market sales at our Dallas store, community events with music and food, fun additions to our website…lots of surprises!

 A special thanks to The Newsoms for taking the time to answer these questions for us!  Make sure and visit their wonderful site so you can be inspired by all of their beautiful pieces!


I am not affiliated with Wisteria.  Nor was I compensated for this post.  Wisteria is one of my  favorite decorating stores, and I simply wanted to share this fun interview with my readers!


Kids' Bathroom Inspiration~

Happy Monday Everybody!!

The next project on our plate is a redo of the kids' bathroom.  Right now it is a sea of white...and not in a good way.  I want the room to be fun and playful, but not "over the top kid", if you know what I mean.   The bathroom is right next door to the boys' bedroom, and because this house is "cozy", I decided to use a similar color palette in the bathroom to give that part of the house a sense of continuity. 

You may recall the striped wall from my boys' bedroom.  

It served as my inspiration for the color palette of blue and white.  Here  is the board I've come up with...

I want to use a board and batten wall treatment and bring in a bit of whimsy with the chevron fabric and the artwork.   The hubby and I are planning on getting started today!  Can't wait to show you the result!

Have a great day~


Sponsor Sunday: A Giveaway from Signs by Andrea~

Happy Sunday Everybody!  I'm excited to introduce you to my newest sponsor: Signs by Andrea!

Signs by Andrea is a great shop that specializes in both handpainted wooden signs AND digitally designed posters and canvases.  That Andrea is one talented lady!

Look at this adorable custom wood sign that she created for my kitchen... it's such a great piece for our house because the first thing the hubby tells the kids when they walk through the door is to wash their hands. :-)

Andrea also created a personalized date print for me.  I love it!

Here are just a few of the other types of signs (and notecards) Andrea creates.

fun canvases!

personalized wedding signs!
personalized signs!

great family notecards!

And today she has generously offered to give THREE great prizes to THREE different readers of The Shabby Nest

Prize #1:  1 ft. Personalized Monogram with Overlay Wooden Sign - similar to the one pictured above.  This prize only available to US Residents.

Prize #2 & #3: Special Dates Artwork Printable Download - similar to the one pictured above.  This prize is available worldwide.

To enter simply leave a comment on this post telling me where you'd display your sign if you win.  That's it!

And whether or not you're the winner, you can still get a personalized sign for a great price, because Andrea has offered some special discounts to readers of The Shabby Nest.  Use the code SNEST10 to get 10% off your wood sign order.  Or use the code SAVINGS42012 to get 10% off your (de)SIGNS order.  Both codes are valid until 4/30/2012.

Make sure to visit Signs by Andrea and check out all of her great products! You'll be glad you did!

The giveaway is open until Tuesday, April 17 at 11:59 PM MST.  Winner will be announced later in the week.

Have a lovely Sunday~

This post was sponsored by Signs by Andrea.  The opinions expressed are my own.


Saturday: Question of the Week~

Happy Saturday Everyone!!

I just loved last week's question of the week post.  It was so fun to hear from so many of you....and to get to know my readers a little bit more. 

So here's this week's question (it's a multi-parter)...

What is your favorite color?  Do you find yourself wearing or decorating with it alot? 

I have two equally favorite colors:  Gray and Pink.  (That sounds straight out of the 1980's.)  I wear both of them a lot...gray more than pink.  And I decorate with gray a lot too...although recently I've been making an effort to bring some other tones into my decor.  I'm afraid I really don't use pink in my decor at all (just a touch in the Princess' bedroom) The boys outnumber the girls 2 to 1 at our house, so I think there would be a revolt if I tried to decorate with pink in the rest of the house.

Can't wait to hear what you all have to say!